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Chrysler Teases New Dodge Durango

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On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Teases New Dodge Durango

The new Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee have already launched this year, but 2010 still has some big changes in store for another prominent SUV: the Dodge Durango. The 2011 Dodge Durango will be the second complete overhaul in the Durango's history. Chrysler has launched a teaser site for the new Durango complete with pictures and video. From what we've seen so far, both from Chrysler's teaser site and from spy shots, the new Durango will be less boxy and awkward than the 2nd-generation Durango introduced during the 2004 model year, and will be a more styled, classy ride.

The third-generation Durango will share underpinnings with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It will get the same Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine and Hemi 5.7-liter V8 engine options of the Grand Cherokee and will be built together with the Jeep at Chrysler's Jefferson-North plant in Detroit. It's expected to offer a five-speed automatic transmission and come in 2WD and 4WD flavors. We'll see if and how the Durango answers the Ford Explorer's Intelligent 4WD system when it debuts.

In moving onto the Grand Cherokee platform, the Durango will lose the Dakota body-on-frame construction that it has traditionally sported in favor of the Cherokee's unibody. The car will also shrink down from its large midsize SUV mold to a regular midsize with room for seven.

Chrysler's teasers show a more sculpted Durango from front to back. The traditional Dodge grille remains, but appears to be longer and thinner than the last-generation Durango. The headlights have also been reshaped, providing a more sleek, styled look. Gone are the hideously bulbous taillights of the last Durango, replaced with a more sensible set. From the little that we see of the car's profile, it loses the straight, angular lines of the last Durango and offers a few more flows and curves.

Inside, the teaser video shows that the 2011 Durango will feature an ignition button in place of a traditional key-based start-up.

A spy shot that surfaced several weeks ago showed more of a full picture of the 2011 Durango's front-end and profile, and the SUV features a longer, more defined nose and a lower, more set back cabin. The "beefy fender flares" of the 2nd-gen Durango appear to have slipped into the body, and the hood gets curvier styling. In other words, it looks like Dodge has fixed a lot of what was so visually wrong with the last generation Durango, combining new styling with a stance more similar to the original model.

Chrysler's press release stated that we'll be getting more information about the new Durango in the "coming weeks." It appears that Chrysler is sticking with the Durango name, as that's how it appears on the site. Previous rumors had indicated the company was considering changing the name to Magnum.

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